Business & Finance

Electric Co-ops Featured in Top 100

By Michael W. Kahn | ECT Staff Writer Published: October 28th, 2013

Sixteen electric cooperatives made National Cooperative Bank’s 2013 Co-op 100 list.

Basin Electric Power Cooperative’s Antelope Valley Station power plant near Beulah, N.D. (Photo By: Basin Electric)

Basin Electric Power Cooperative’s Antelope Valley Station power plant near Beulah, N.D. (Photo By: Basin Electric)

Basin Electric Power Cooperative took the top spot among electric co-ops, coming in 24th overall based on revenues, up four spots from a year ago. The Bismarck, N.D.-based G&T had 2012 revenues of $1.9 billion.

Mary Miller, manager of communications, credits a directive that Basin Electric’s board gave management years ago: Grow the co-op.

“We’ve grown our membership, diversified our energy portfolio, increased our presence in the communities and worked hard to be an employer of choice,” Miller said.

“Our members and our employees have contributed to our successes, and we couldn’t have done it without them. The cooperative family remains strong.”

Another strong performer was Westminster, Colo.-based Tri-State G&T. Its $1.2 billion in revenue helped it climb two spots to 43rd place.

“Our financial strength is a reflection of the collaborative commitment and efforts put forth by our board of directors, management and staff and our 44 member systems,” said Jim Van Someren, Tri-State’s communications manager.

“Along with maintaining a steady pace of growth in energy sales and revenue, Tri-State has been able to return capital credits to our member co-ops for 24 consecutive years.”

Great River Energy shot up from 70th place on 2012’s list to No. 48 this time. The Maple Grove, Minn.-based G&T had $864 million in revenue last year.

“Although our energy sales remain steady, Great River Energy’s overall growth in revenue is attributed primarily to additional non-utility revenue. In 2012, Great River Energy acquired full ownership of Blue Flint Ethanol, an ethanol plant adjacent to our Coal Creek Station,” said Larry Schmid, vice president & CFO.

Among co-ops of all types, CHS once again landed at the top of the list. The Minnesota-based energy, grains and food operation had 2012 revenues of almost $40.6 billion. That’s nearly triple the revenue of second place Land O’Lakes, with $14.1 billion.

Charles E. Snyder, president and CEO of National Cooperative Bank, called the Co-op 100 “a great reminder of the substantial impact and important role cooperative businesses play in our national economy across every sector.” He noted that the 100 co-ops on the list generated $226.4 billion in revenue, up 5 percent from the 2012 list.

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